Precautionary lockdown lifted after worrying rumors spread at GCT

PARAGOULD, Ark. – Greene County Tech High School was under a soft lockdown Thursday afternoon while several detectives investigated concerning rumors surrounding an individual, Sheriff Steve Franks confirmed to NEA Report. 

The lockdown was lifted a short time later and was precautionary only, according to the school.

Details were sketchy initially, as Franks had only moments ago dispatched his detectives to the high school before speaking to a reporter during the 2 PM hour.

“We did get a phone call at GCT,” Franks said. “I sent two detectives over there to talk to some of the kids.”

Once detectives began going through the details, they learned of rumors about a student bringing a gun to the school. Despite those rumors, Franks said individual the concern surrounded was not even at school at the time of the lockdown. The student had gone home at about 11 AM.

Authorities went to the home to talk to the student in question, but he had no idea what was going on, the sheriff said. He did not appear to be troubled. It appeared to the detectives, at least so far in their investigation, that the rumors had no merit and were false.

A statement from the school said there was never any imminent threat or danger to the students or faculty.

Detectives plan to continue interviewing students about the rumors on Friday, Franks said.

During a soft lockdown the building perimeter is secured with staff stationed at the doors. No imminent danger has been identified but precautionary safety steps are being taken, which could be for a variety of reasons.

An update from the school, which was actually posted before our original story, suggests the soft lockdown has already been lifted and the situation is back to normal.


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